The Baylor Teen Health Clinic will enhance its Centering Pregnancy Program through a grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

With the one-year, $100,000 grant, renewable for up to three years, the Clinic will join the state’s Healthy Texas Babies coalition, which was developed to help Texas communities decrease pre-term births and infant mortality using evidence-based interventions. 

“Our Centering Pregnancy Program is a perfect fit for the Healthy Texas Babies coalition,” said Dr. Ruth Buzi, director of social services at the Baylor Teen Health Clinic and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. “The Teen Health Clinic is the only agency in the Houston area that provides prenatal care to pregnant teens and their partners using this group model, and it is effective in leading to better outcomes for teen mothers and their children.”

Pregnant teens often do not receive adequate prenatal care, Buzi said, leading to higher rates of pre-term births and even infant mortality. Centering Pregnancy is a group-centered model that integrates health assessment, education and support for young pregnant women, ages 14 to 24.

Pregnant women who are referred to the program are grouped together based on their due dates, and attend sessions every other week, with their partners if possible. Sessions are led by a social worker with health care professionals also at the meetings.

Women are referred to Centering Pregnancy from the 10 Baylor Teen Health Clinic sites. The grant will allow outreach to expand to teens and young adults who access services at other health clinics and centers throughout the community. The Baylor Teen Health Clinic will partner to expand the reach and impact of Centering Pregnancy in the Houston community with the Impacting Maternal and Prenatal Care Together (IMPACT) Collaborative, a coalition composed of numerous local organizations. The Baylor Teen Health Clinic also will use its North East Adolescent Project (NEAP) to reach out to pregnant teens. 

“Based on our needs assessment it appears that there is a great need to provide services to pregnant teens that are comprehensive and address their unique needs,” Buzi said. 

Specific goals of the Centering Pregnancy Program include:

  • Increase rate of entry into prenatal care during first trimester
  • Increase proportion of high-risk pregnant women who receive early and adequate prenatal care
  • Increase proportion of women receiving comprehensive risk assessment and screening in the first trimester
  • Increase proportion of mothers who achieve a recommended weight gain during their pregnancies
  • Decrease proportion of pregnant women with hemoglobin A1C >7 percent
  • Decrease proportion of women who smoke during pregnancy
  • Decrease incidence of adverse birth outcomes associated with maternal hypertension